WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority voted for contracted service workers at Reagan and Dulles International Airports to receive a first-ever living wage.
Many wheelchair attendants, baggage handlers and food workers at the airport currently make as little as $7.25 an hour.
In a 15-1 vote, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is moving forward with an Airport Workers Wage Policy, after a two-year campaign for higher wages.
The base wage rate will start at $11.55 on Jan. 1, 2018 and will be annually adjusted after that to reflect inflation.
Officials said the annual worker turnover rate is as high as 60 to 90 percent, and the board recognizes it as a critical business challenge.
"It is a particular problem as we see it, because we value having knowledgeable and long-term employees who can help us with the critical questions of security and safety as well as customer satisfaction," said Shaw McDermott, Chairman, MWAA Board of Directors.
With this new policy, the board hopes it helps reduce turnover, improve the quality of service and help keep their workers and passengers safe.
Although this was a big step forward, workers are still pushing for that $15 minimum wage.